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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Piece of Gold

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The A.V., in rendering the elliptical expression "six thousand of gold," in a passage respecting Naaman, relating that he "took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand of gold, and ten changes of raiment" (2 Kings 5:5), supplies "pieces" as the word understood. The similar passage respecting silver in which the word understood appears to be shekels, probably justifies the insertion of that.definite word. (See PIECE OF SILVER).

The same expression, if a weight of gold be here meant, is also found in the following passage: "And king Solomon made two hundred targets [of] beaten gold: six hundred of gold went to one target" (1 Kings 10:16). Here the A.V. supplies the word "shekels," and there seems no doubt that it is right, considering the number mentioned, and that a common weight must be intended. That a weight of gold is meant in Naaman's case may be inferred, because it is extremely unlikely that coined money was already invented at the time referred to, or indeed that it was known in Palestine before the Persian period. (See DARIC); (See MONEY).

Rings or ingots of gold may have been in use, but we are scarcely warranted in'supposing that any of them bore the name of shekels, since the practice was to weigh money. The rendering "pieces of gold" is therefore very doubtful; and "shekels of gold" as designating the value of the whole quantity, not individual pieces, is preferable. (See GOLD)


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Piece of Gold'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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